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Aspirin before heart surgery, Tylenol for back pain, thyroid screening, pelvic exams, stents…
…all completely worthless?
That’s the finding published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It says millions of medical diagnoses, procedures and treatments are based on questionable scientific evidence and that in some cases the “risk of harm exceeds its potential for benefit.”
It’s being called “medical overuse.” A too-forgiving term for overdiagnosis and overtreatment. It can also be defined as a healthcare practice that patients wouldn’t get if they knew what was in it for them — which for most procedures is potentially nothing.
I don’t know about you but that seems to go against the Hippocratic Oath’s promise to “utterly reject harm and mischief.”
Are doctors intentionally lying to patients? In this case, you have to look beyond individual doctors. Look at medical researchers, pharmaceutical companies and the medical landscape at large.
Sadly, market forces (think money) not science, are currently used to determine the standard of care.
Peer-reviewed clinical research is the main source of information used in conventional medicine today. But another study found that up to 90 percent of this research is either exaggerated or completely false.
That means that we are determining what drugs and surgeries are used based on bad intel. On the other hand, these medical mistakes and fraud also determine what treatments aren’t be used. That includes nutrients, herbs, and other natural treatments which are proven healers but are shunned by mainstream medicine.
- One overdiagnosed problem is a blocked artery in the neck. Surgeons rush to put stents in, costing thousands of dollars.
Stenting is often done as a “precautionary measure.” But a review showed that there is no data confirming that these procedures reduce the risk of stroke, which is the stated reason for the surgery and the stent in the first place. In fact, carotid stenosis screenings often lead to false-positives, which lead to unnecessary procedures, which lead to people dying unnecessarily.
- Computer tomography, or “Cat” scans are also overused. These scans use ionizing radiation and sometimes contrasting dye, both of which have negative health effects. Initial CT scans often lead to the ordering of follow up scans even though “a second CT scan rarely affects patient management.”
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that these scans are even causing cancer themselves because they involve much higher doses of radiation than did plain-film radiography.
- Flu shots are yet another unscientific roll of the dice. Pharmaceutical companies make each years’ vaccines way before they even know which strain of the flu will be the most prevalent. Research shows that even if the shots are made to fight the right flu strain, they still don’t prevent the flu in the majority of cases.
There are dozens more of these procedures that are to be avoided at all costs.
The question is, what can you do to avoid being a victim of overdiagnosis?
First, make sure your doctor examines your history and investigates your symptoms. Often, doctors order medical tests because they have become reliant on a disease-based view depending on what a technological screening tells them.
The JAMA review discovered that about 33 percent of patient symptoms don’t match up with identifiable disease, but that as many as 94 percent of diagnoses are based on symptoms and history.
JAMA’s advice? “Be cautious in using diagnostic tests to identify disease … because most disease can be diagnosed with a thoughtful history and skillful physical examination. Clinicians managing patient symptoms without obvious cause should be aware that physical and psychological symptoms co-occur, should recognize that most symptoms resolve within a few weeks to months, and should consider that serious causes of symptoms rarely emerge during long-term follow-up.”
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!